Saturday, March 2, 2013

Samsung India announces iPad mini rival Note 510

Samsung has announced its Apple iPad mini rival Galaxy Note 510 in India. The device, which features an 8-inch touchscreen, was announced at Samsung Forum event.

Galaxy Note 510 comes with a TFT display that supports 1280x800p resolution and 189ppi pixel density. It runs on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) layered with Nature UX and is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, coupled with 2GB RAM. The device supports microSD cards up to 64GB and is powered by a 4,600mAh battery.

Updated, Windows 9 release date, news and rumours

Updated: Windows 9 release date, news and rumours
With Windows 8, Microsoft tried - not entirely successfully - to make tablets part of a continuum that goes from number-crunching workstations and high-end gaming rigs through all-in-one touchscreen media systems and thin-and light notebooks down to slender touch tablets, all with the same OS, aiming for the best of both of today's computing worlds. What will it do for the next version of Windows?

Microsoft s Future Vision has you clawing at the walls

Microsoft is gazing into the crystal ball again, with a new Future Vision concept video for how we’ll “Live, Work, Play” 5-10 years in the future, and you can apparently expect to be bathed in the glow of a million displays. The concept, the product of Microsoft’s freshly-revamped “Envisioning Center”, describes a touch and voice controlled home where media can be swiped, flicked, and generally shifted all over the home; your kitchen can identify the vegetables you’re holding; and every footstool will be equipped with its own Surface.
Concept videos are like catnip to designers and futurologists, who generally can’t resist peering into the future and guesstimicrosoft-future-vision-0mating what sort of technology might be around. Microsoft’s vision, at least, seems pretty realistic: the huge touch display walls and projected interfaces are certainly possible – albeit prohibitively expensive for most – and the object recognition and media streaming could also be enabled with today’s gadgetry.

Apple named world s most admired firm in survey

Tech giant Apple has been named the world's most admired company by business executives for the sixth year in a row, a survey has revealed. 

The survey by Fortune magazine showed Apple leads Google, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and IBM, to name the next five companies in the survey. 

According to the survey, which covered 3,800 business execs and directors, showed that Apple came in first overall and was also the most admired tech company and the most admired in innovation. 

Microsoft updates Office 365

Microsoft updates Office 365
Microsoft has added a bunch of new features to its Office 365 cloud service for business, with an eye on the small to midsized business market.
Two of the three offerings that Microsoft is highlighting for Office 365 are aimed at SMBs.
Office 365 Midsize Business is designed for firms with 10-250 employees, and includes Office 365 ProPlus along with Exchange, Lync and SharePoint.
It also has Active Directory integrated, along with a web based administration portal.

Vertu launches luxury Android phones

 Fancy a smartphone with a sapphire crystal screen, or one encrusted with precious stones?

Taking aim at consumers with deep pockets, Vertu - a former unit of Finland's Nokia Oyj - is among just a few of the companies that have come up with niche handsets with swanky features to help customers stand out from crowds of more plebeian phones. 

Rovio and DreamWorks launching The Croods on March 14

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 11.22.33 AM
Rovio isn’t slowing down its development of new games, and it’s latest project is a collaboration with DreamWorks Animation Studio to launch a new game based on the upcoming movie The Croods. The game is set to launch on March 14, just two day before Rovio’s Angry Birds Toons will be premiering, and will be releasing one week before the theatrical release of the movie.

Facebook acquisition of Microsoft Atlas confirmed

As we reported yesterday, Facebook and Microsoft have indeed announced plans for the acquisition of Microsoft’s Atlas ad server to Facebook. The rumors have been flowing for a few months now, so today’s announcement isn’t all that surprising, and with Facebook wanting to bolster its advertising prowess, this acquisition isn’t too crazy. 
Facebook says that the acquisition will help advertisers keep track of their ads on the social network, as well as what sort of returns they are getting with them. Facebook says that marketers have been struggling to understand “how their efforts 

Sacked Groupon CEO s letter to employees

Groupon founder Andrew Mason sent a memo to employees after he was fired. Here's the text of his letter:

People of Groupon,

After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding - I was fired today. If you're wondering why... you haven't been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that's hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.

How Big Data Can Boost Weather Forecasting

Guest author Steve Hamm is a strategist, writer and videographer in IBM's corporate communications department.
Last September, when Typhoon Sanba smashed into the Korean peninsula, it packed winds so strong that they sent rocks flying through the air like missiles and caused massive power outages. “Hwangsa” storms, carrying dense clouds of yellow dust from China’s Gobi Desert that are sometimes loaded with heavy metals and carcinogens, sweep across the peninsula from West to East.

Kaspersky Lab identifies malware MiniDuke

Kaspersky Lab's team of experts recently published a new research report that analyzed a series of security incidents involving the use of the recently discovered PDF exploit in Adobe Reader (CVE-2013-6040) and a new, highly customized malicious programme known as MiniDuke. The MiniDuke backdoor was used to attack multiple government entities and institutions worldwide during the past week, said the lab's press release. Kaspersky Lab's experts, in partnership with CrySys Lab, analyzed the attacks in detail and published their findings. 

BlackBerry 10 gets first update, Battery life and low light camera fixes, more

BlackBerry has pushed out the first update for the BlackBerry Z10, promising improvements in battery life, multimedia and third-party app performance, and enterprise features around calendars and contacts. The new firmware, a 150MB download, is being released as an OTA update, and according to BlackBerry has been pieced together primarily in response to consumer feedback from the first month of reports.

Friday, March 1, 2013

HCL Tech, TCS waiting to pounce on HP deals

In the wild, it is a common strategy for the predator to single out the weakest prey and chase it down for a kill. In the cut-throat market for outsourcing deals, too, it works much the same way, and a wounded Hewlett-Packard is fair game for Indian software companies desperate to win new contracts. 

"Indian outsourcing companies are aggressively attacking HP, which is a very vulnerable target right now," said Peter Bendor-Samuel, founder and CEO at Everest Group, a Texas-based outsourcing advisory and market research firm. HP, sitting on plum contracts with the likes of American Express and Bank of America, is vulnerable as these deals worth billions of dollars are coming up for renewal. 

Budget 2013, Rs 2,000 cr fund for scientific innovations

In a bid to boost scientific innovations that can improve the life of the common man, the government today announced setting up of a Rs 2,000-crore fund to help encourage and finance such products. 

Presenting the General Budget in Lok Sabha, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Finance and Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government have identified a few amazingscience and technology innovations. 

Your car is the next big smartphone accessory

Automobile giants at the world's biggest mobile fair are showing off a new technology that turns a car into a smartphone accessory, allowing a driver to use cutting-edge apps without veering off the road. 

Called MirrorLink, and adopted by 85 big manufacturers from Ford to General Motors, Chrysler, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, BMW, VW, Fiat or Renault, it connects a smartphone and car entertainment system with a two-way audio, video and data link. 

Smart stickers let you find things using smartphone

Jimmy Buchheim is behaving oddly.

On the floor of the world's largest cellphone trade show in Barcelona, Spain, he's looking at the screen of his iPod Touch, taking a few steps, and then looking again. Now and then he backtracks or turns, and looks again. Slowly, he confines his movements to a smaller and smaller area. Then he drops to his knees, and checks the screen again. He scrabbles forward. 

Indian PC market grew 3.5 percent in 2012, IDC

Domestic computer market grew 3.5 per cent to 11 million units in 2012 compared to previous year, driven by projects like ELCOT and spurt in consumer demand for notebooks. 

The growth in consumer PC market was driven by growing shift in end-user demand towardsportable PCs, which grew at 20.2 per cent in 2012 over 2011, IDC said in a statement. 

Samsung cuts price of Galaxy Tab 2

 Samsung seems to be on a price cutting spree. The company has cut the price of both the versions of its Galaxy Tab 2 in India. Galaxy Tab 2 P3110, which was launched in India earlier this month at Rs 13,900, now costs Rs 12,750 officially and comes with a free Bluetooth headset. Samsung has also reduced the price of Galaxy Tab 2 P3100 to Rs 16,499 from Rs 19,500. 

Apple s iTunes U Hits One Billion Downloads

A new milestone for Apple’s iTunes U, the company’s vast catalog of lectures from colleges and universities around the world.
Apple said Thursday that since it debuted in 2007, iTunes U has served up more than one billion downloads. That’s a nice big number (Stanford University alone has seen more than 60 million downloads). But a perhaps more impressive figure is this: Apple says that some iTunes U courses boast enrollments of more than 250,000 students.

Now, buy books from Google

Google on Thursday started selling books through its Android Play store in India. Google's decision to start selling content in India through the Play store comes nearly three months after Apple, which competes with Google in the smartphone and tablet market, introduced iTunes content store. 

However, unlike iTunes store that sells music and films - but not books - in India, Google is selling only books for now. But sources say the company realizes India is an important smartphone and tablet market and going forward it is likely to add more content to the Play store. 

ITC Infotech ties up with Camouflage Software

ITC Infotech, the IT services and solutions arm of ITC, today announced its tie-up with Canada-based  Camouflage Software. 

With this partnership, ITC Infotech and Camouflage will jointly promote, market and implement the Camouflage data masking solution, a company statement said. 

Transparent 3D computer unveiled

A transparent computer that allows users to reach inside and touch digital content has been unveiled at the Technology, Education and Design (TED) conference in Los Angeles.

TED fellow Jinha Lee has been working on the SpaceTop 3D desktop in collaboration with Microsoft.

Allowing people to interact with machines in the same way they do with solid objects could make computing much more intuitive, he told the BBC.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

PayPal co founder launches new mobile payment start up

Max Levchin, co-founder of online payment giant PayPal, launched a rival business called Affirm that will compete in the crowded but fast-growing mobile payments business. 

Affirm's technology helps shoppers complete online purchases more quickly and easily when they are using smartphones and other mobile devices, according to the firm's website. 

Sibal, India to have cyber security policy soon

 India will soon have a cyber security policy that will ensure preventive measures against cyber crime and fraud, the government said.

"We are working on a cyber security policy... we need more work to curb cyber crimes," Minister for Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

"It's a new medium. we need to understand it and take preventive measures," he said.

Stuxnet was deployed against Iran in 2007, Researchers

Researchers at Symantec have uncovered a version of the Stuxnet computer virus that was used to attack Iran's nuclear program in November 2007, two years earlier than previously thought.

Planning for the cyber weapon, the first publicly known example of a virus being used to attack industrial machinery, began at least as early as 2005, according to an 18-page report that the security software company published. 

Yahoo CEO s decision will hurt women in Indian IT

CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to scrap the work-from-home option at Yahoo has shocked technology professionals and diversity experts. While some say work-from-home policy has its benefits, others point out that IBM— a company that has made significant progress in providing this option—is withdrawing the benefit to sections of its employees.

India s STRaND 1 first to put smartphone in space

India has successfully launched the world's first smartphone — loaded with a number of experimental 'Apps' , some serious and some just for fun — into the orbit. The University of Surrey's Surrey Space Centre (SSC) said that the STRaND-1, a nano-satellite carrying a smartphone, has successfully been launched into space from India. 

Smart homes create buzz at mobile fair

Networks, whether superfast mobile broadband, wifi or a combination of both, are helping add pizzazz to new mobile products as the rapid evolution in smartphone and tablet design slows to a trickle.

The world's fastest smartphone, new "phablets" - sized between a phone and tablet - and small tablets optimised to watch video and run multiple applications on 4G mobile networks were making the biggest splash at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Cyber education is the best tool against cybercrime

A group of students hacked into a school's computer system and sent an email to all the parents a few years ago. The email asked the parents to gather at the school on a particular day with Rs 200 worth of sweets. The school authorities were in for a shock when these parents descended on the premises with boxes of barfi and ladoos. 

This was an innocuous trick, but it can get dangerous sometimes, according to Supreme Court advocate and cyber law specialist Pavan Duggal. He was addressing teachers at the India International Centre for the 40th National Progressive Schools' Conference. 

Why Facebook CEO wants school kids to learn coding

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates,Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter creator Jack Dorsey are among the tech luminaries appearing in a new video promoting the teaching and learning of computer coding in schools.

Titled "What most schools don't teach," the video released online begins with Zuckerberg, Gates and other tech icons recalling the time they got their start in coding. For some, that was in sixth grade. For others, such as Ruchi Sanghvi,Facebook's first female engineer, that happened in college. Freshman year, first semester, intro to computer science, to be exact. 

Cognizant to cut bonuses this year

Due to the lower achievement of financial targets by Cognizant, top performers at the firm will get lower bonuses this year. An announcement with regard to this is due in a couple of weeks.

The bonus, calculated for performance in 2012, (Cognizant follows January-December fiscal) is likely to be in the range of 90% to 145%, sources said. For 2011, the average bonus payout was 165% while the maximum was 200%. The company is currently computing the bonuses for various business divisions and will communicate this to employees mid-March.

Yahoo abolishes work at home policy, faces flak

CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to scrap the work-from-home option at Yahoo has shocked technology professionals and diversity experts. While some say work-from-home policy has its benefits, others point out that IBM— a company that has made significant progress in providing this option—is withdrawing the benefit to sections of its employees.

BlackBerry Z10 review, Good, but pricey proposition

 BlackBerry has launched its first BB10-powered smartphone Z10 in India at a hefty price of Rs 43,490. It offers a refreshing new look at the smartphone interface, powerful integration between hardware and software and BlackBerry's famed corporate, data encryption and security features. BlackBerry Z10 is more than just another smartphone - it is widely deemed to be the manufacturer's last-ditch effort at salvaging its lost market share and reputation in recent years.

Instagram touches 100m user mark

Photo-sharing app Instagram, which was purchased by Facebook last year, has hit 100 million monthly active users.

Co-founder Kevin Systrom penned a long blog post to commemorate the news, chronicling Instagram's modest beginnings in a chilly co-working space atop the San Francisco Bay and the journey to becoming a global phenomenon.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Samsung, Visa team up for mobile payments

US credit card giant Visa announced a global alliance with Samsung to let shoppers make payments by waving their smartphones near a special reader.

The deal could significantly boost the long-touted use of smartphones to pay for goods worldwide without any physical contact, and without the need either for credit cards or cash, it said.

Google+ Adds Sign In Feature, Matching Facebook And Twitter

Slowly but surely, Google keeps building out its Google+ social network and becoming a stronger rival to Facebook. Today the company is announcing the ability to let people sign in on websites with their Google+ credentials instead of creating a unique user name and password.
At first glance this seems like no big deal. After all, you can already do the same thing with your Facebook and Twitter IDs. So in a way, Google is just playing catch-up. And for now there are only 10 developers committed to using Google+ sign-ins. They include Shazam, Fitbit and Fancy, plus the Guardian newspaper and USA Today.

Microsoft Could And Should Eradicate Facebook. Here‘s How.

[Editor’s note: Joachim Kempin is a former top Microsoft executive and author of a new memoir, Resolve and Fortitude: Microsoft’s `Secret Power Broker’ Breaks His Silence. It’s a fantastic book, and I’ve asked Kempin to write a few columns for us sharing his perspective on Microsoft. In this, his second column for us, Kempin argues Microsoft should take over the social networking space, and get out of the hardware business. –Dan Lyons]
Last week I gave you a historical perspective about Microsoft and pinpointed several areas for improvements. Today I will continue that discussion with more food for thought:

Budget 2013, IT BPO sector s expectations

The $100 billion IT-BPO sector is struggling with increasing costs and global uncertainty. Given its exponential growth as well as potential and bearing in mind the significant contribution of 7.5% of India's GDP, it is imperative that the government duly considers and makes announcements which helps in future growth of the IT/BPO sector and equips it to deal better in tough global economic conditions, says PricewaterhouseCoopers ( PwC) in a release.

LG launching Galaxy S3 rival Optimus G at Rs 30,990

LG is all set to launch its erstwhile flagship smartphone Optimus G in India at an event in Mumbai on February 27. This device is pitted against the current market leaderSamsung Galaxy S III and is the basis for the highly popular Google Nexus 4. India will be among the first countries outside the US, Canada, Japan and South Korea, as the device is yet to hit Europe as well as other major markets. The phone is available on online retail sites in the country at Rs 30,990 even before its launch. 

Mozilla Unveils Firefox OS Smartphones At Mobile World Congress

It started with a gecko, of sorts. It then became a fennec, a type of winter fox. Now, it is a smartphone, and soon it will be available all over the world.
We are, of course, talking about Firefox OS, the open source, Web-based smartphone operating system created by Mozilla. The company announced Sunday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, that it has partnered with device manufacturers and mobile operators across the world to launch Firefox smartphones in 2013. 
Mozilla also officially launched the Firefox Marketplace, an app store featuring mobile Web applications and websites that will be able to operate on the new smartphones. Both the Firefox OS and Marketplace are optimized towards HTML5 development and open Web standards using Mozilla’s Firefox browser as its backbone. 
Mozilla claimed three initial manufacturers ready to build and deploy Firefox OS smartphones: LG, Alcatel and ZTE. These devices will be distributed to 17 global carriers in nine countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Serbia, Montenegro, Poland, Spain, Hungary and Venezuela. (Note that these are largely developing markets, and the list does not include the United States.) Since the announcement yesterday, Sony has also said that it would build and release Firefox OS smartphones in 2014. On the other hand, market leader Samsung has said that it is not interested in building smartphones for Mozilla (likely due to its investment in the similar Tizen platform).

Why Google s Rumored Spotify Killer Makes Perfect Sense

Google is reportedly working on a music subscription service to compete with the likes of Spotify, MOG and Rdio. It might seem crazy to jump into a crowded market whose basic business model is already questionable – but for Google it makes perfect sense. 
The company is already a huge, albeit unofficial, player in streaming music. YouTube is now a top destination for listening to songs and albums, not to mention the trove of remixes and parodies that get uploaded everyday. Today, when teenagers want to hear a new song, they don't turn on the radio or buy a CD. They go to YouTube. 

Now, sing with these karaoke apps

If karaoke is your thing, you don't need to own a game console with fancy microphones or make a trip to a bar; the smartphone app stores are full of karaoke apps. Red Karaoke, free on iOS and Android, has a slick and easy-to-use interface, with clear navigation thanks to its icon-style buttons and smart graphics. The backing music has a professional quality, which adds to the fun.

How hacking can get you a dream job

"We have really good coders in India. But they're just not presented well. It isn't only programmers from IITs and NITs who are good and who are hired by big companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon," says Sachin Gupta, co-founder of HackerEarth, a Bangalore-based startup which provides a platform for graduates to better present their programming skills and allow a smarter way for companies to hire coders with the skill sets they want.

Invisible wetsuit for your smartphone

It's a little heart-stopping to watch someone purposely dunk a cellphone or tablet in a water tank. Seeing it continue to work underwater is astonishing. 

It does because the components inside have been nano-coated. Such coatings are best applied to a phone's components before assembly. You can have nano coating done afterward through Liquipel, but it will cost you. mobilizes its service cloud

In a move that should surprise no one, is bumping up the mobile capabilities of its Service Cloud offering, making it easier for users of mobile shopping and banking apps to get help and customer service right from the apps running on their smartphones or tablets.
In essence, the technology — which needs to be implemented by Service Cloud customers including merchants, banks and gaming providers — aims to keep customers interested and active in their interactions and give them real assistance, said Alex Bard, SVP and GM for’s Service Cloud and unit. The goal is to bring the sort of in-app experience folks now get from advanced web applications — co-browsing, in-application support, chat as well as easy access to knowledge bases and support forums — to their device of choice

Microsoft launches Internet Explorer 10 browser

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 10 to millions of new users, hoping the latest version of its market-leading browser will win back customers who have migrated to Google's Chrome and help it establish a toe-hold in the fast-growing mobile browser market. 

The world's largest software maker, whose Internet Explorer browser elbowed out Netscape Navigator in the early days of the web, said IE 10 is 20 percent faster at downloading sites than its predecessor IE 9 and allows for touch-screen commands. 

Goa students to get tablets, notebooks for Rs 25

Students in Goa can now get a tablet PC or a notebook for just Rs 25.

The digital largesse is a part of the Goa government education department's initiative to familiarise Class V and VII students with computers in order to "prepare them for the life ahead and get them curious about the e-systems", according to additional director education Anil Powar.